BRANDS HATCH PREVIEW


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Mark Cripps and James May will both be in action in the Euro Saloons at Brands. Photo: Dave English

The BRSCC South Eastern Centre makes a belated start to their season this weekend with a busy two day meeting at Brands Hatch, featuring 17 races.

The Arrowpak backed Euro Saloons & Sports Car Championship have worked very hard this year to put on full grids and they’ve achieved it again this weekend with 32 cars lining up for the double header. Having played his joker at Oulton Park last month Rex Stamp now leads the way in his Lotus Exige with 76 points from Kevin Wendt (52) and Nick Hayes (48).

The all new Ma5da MX5 Cup makes its Brands Hatch debut on Saturday with a double header. The 8 round series is for the Mazda MX5 mk3 2000cc Sport model and the cars are being developed and tested this season with the aim of a full Ma5da MX5 Cup Championship in 2011.

Single-seater fans have three variants to enjoy this weekend. Rolling back the years are the 500 OA Formula 500 cars. A nostalgic mix of Coopers, a Martin, a Kieft and a Trenberth Vincent will be competing for the Lewis Evans Trophy. Bringing us back to more recent times is the BRSCC Formula 3 Series. 2010 Champion Chris Needham is looking to maintain his 100% record after doubles at Silverstone and Snetterton in his DST Group Ltd Dallara F302. However, Chris won’t have it all his own way and can expect a strong challenge from Alex Craven and local driver Mark Terry who is hunting down that illusive first chequered flag.

The Formula Jedi Championship concludes the triumvirate of single seaters. As the championship heads towards the half way point we have already seen 4 different drivers take overall wins from the previous 6 rounds. Jack Smith and Richard Gittings are both double winners, with Andrew Dunn and Dan Cook taking a win apiece. 2008 champion, lap record holder (45.468secs) and current points leader Smith is sure to feature well at Brands, as is the 2009 champ Richard Mitcham, who is returning to the championship this weekend.

The ITCHY FEET BRSCC OSS Championship comes to Brands Hatch for rounds 5 and 6. The Championship is in its first year and has been created for any type of sports racing car. The champion will probably come from Class A for cars over 2001cc. The Jades of Tony Sinclair, Jim Hutchinson, Graham Cole and Dave Krayem are all in contention as is fabulous Chiron of Peter Hobday and the very fast Juno of Josh Fisher.

Guesting at Brands on both days are the Cannons Motorspares Tin Tops who will be joining forces with our own Motorlawyers Fiat Racing Challenge to bolster the grid. Keep a close eye on the competition for class positions in the Tin Tops as this is where the battle for points is at its most fierce! As the series heads into the second half of a busy season Andy Mitchell, who drives a Peugeot 205 Gti, is setting the pace, hotly pursued by Wrotham’s Gary Chappell and Danny Cassar.

The focus on Sunday switches to the Mighty Minis, with 20 minute races for both the Mighty Minis and Super Mighty Minis championships. The top step of the Super Mighty Minis has been visited more often than not by Scott Kendall, but amazingly this has not been converted into a championship lead. Neven Kirkpatrick has that honour at the moment by sheer tenacity and dogged determination. Points win championships and he has certainly worked hard for his haul so far.

In the Mighty Minis a man with renewed vigour after his win at Castle Combe is Adrian Tuckley. However with formidable opponents such as Louise Inch, Peter Bonas and Matt Pinny, who regularly share the spoils, Adrian will certainly have his work cut out on this technically demanding Indy circuit. What is for sure is that both Mini races will provide excellent racing with numerous passing manoeuvres and continual swapping of leaders.

Also guesting from BARC South East is the Quaife Intermarque Challenge who will share the grid with the Dunlop TVR Challenge. Hugh Marshall won the last TVR race at Snetterton last month and the Londoner will contest his 100th TVR race at Brands in his 4500cc Tuscan. Defending Intermarque champion Steve Hall and his West Country rival Keith White are neck-and-neck at the top of the League, with each driver enjoying an advantage at two of the four double-header rounds held so far. Both men race in the Silhouette class in pure race machines thinly disguised as an Audi TT in Hall’s case and a BMW Z4 in White’s.